As a native Marin County resident, Brooke Gray brings an intimate knowledge of the San Francisco Bay Area to her work. Gray has traveled to over 52 countries and over 250 cities to date and she does not plan on stopping anytime soon. Gray received her Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies with emphasis on agrarian reform and political economics from the University of California at Berkeley including a year of intensive study at La Universidad de Chile in Santiago. After years of living, studying and traveling through the Americas and Europe, Gray has returned to Marin County with a new perspective and appreciation of local food systems and agriculture.
“I enjoy giving the key figures of our local food economy – the farmers – an opportunity to share with the public what they have to offer and what we as a community can do seasonally, locally and sustainably to build a better future for our children of tomorrow. Photographing the farmers, the farms, the produce and the livestock helps me to better understand the food systems right here in our own backyard. My personal goal for this project is to be more informed and to offer a platform of exposure to showcase and highlight the fruits of the local farmer.”
Gray prefers “candid character photography” and loves to capture “organic expressions.” Gray’s corporate career experiences consist primarily of management and director level positions at some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the Greater Bay Area and Napa Valley – including Betelnut Pejiu Wu, The Meritage Resort at Napa and Nick’s Cove & Cottages. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Brooke enjoys extreme culinary adventures that push her out of her element – from foraging for wild mushrooms in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca to sharing communal, sand-buried Taguella with the Tuareg and Berber tribes in the Northern Sahara.
Gray recently joined forces with an old friend, Stryker Scales of Kentfield, and his business partners Nate Valentine (Berkeley) and Sam Josi (Kentfield), to open a casual farm-to-table eatery in Corte Madera’s Town Center, Blue Barn Gourmet. Chef driven and product oriented, Blue Barn’s menu offers thoughtful salads, toasted sandwiches, grilled cheeses and soups for a customer that values quality, ingredients and convenience from a local artisan. Committed to improving the way people eat, Blue Barn pursues the sustainable and organic ideals that support the greater slow food movement. They are proud to be partnered with many local producers and are inspired most dearly by the seasonal produce harvests of Oak Hill Farm, a small, sustainable, and family-run farm located in Sonoma.